Unknown Leaf Problems on Tomato Plants in Containers

Asked July 11, 2018, 5:48 PM EDT

I have 3 tomato plants (yellow pear heirloom/better bush/patio) in pots that have yellowed leaves, lace-like holes and light green and brown discoloration spoys. I do not have aphids. The the plants have an abundance of tomatoes and new blossoms. My local garden center, Good Earth, could not identify the problem from my pictures and suggested I contact you. I hope you are able to assist me with what is causing the problem and how to treat it. Thank you.

Montgomery County Maryland vegetables plant care abiotic issues pest insects and mites

1 Response

We can see in your photo that there are flea beetles present. The white spotting is leafhopper insect damage. The first photo shows that there is also some leaf scorch, probably due to environmental stress (e.g., too dry, too hot). If container-grown plants get too dry and stressed, they can become more susceptible to insect and disease problems. If you want to use an insecticide, you could apply neem oil or spinosad according to the product label instructions.

Also, check under the leaves for spider mites, which like hot, dry conditions. There is information about spider mites (and what to do about them, if you see them) here on our website: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/spider-mite-vegetables

Keep the plants watered regularly to reduce stress during hot, dry weather.